Location: Broad Clyst, Devon
Event: 17 February 2013
Report: Ken Robertson/Snowdon Sports
Photos: Anne and Richard Owens
Alex Murison (Equipe CMI) showed a touch of class to win one of the opening cycle races of the South West 2013 season, The Springtime Pursuit Series, at Broad Clyst in Devon.
The 20-year-old Exeter University based rider, who has finished 20th in the UCI 2.1-ranked Tour of Morocco, powered away from the pack over the closing uphill yards to win from a trio of riders from the promoting Mid-Devon CC/Colin Lewis Cycles.
Run under sunny skies and light winds the race lived up to its “Springtime” name and there was action throughout the 33 miles.
The first two primes after nine and 15 miles went to Nathan Anscombe (Bristol Road Club) who was one of a large group that had seven minutes start over the scratchmen. The third prime three miles later was a close fought affair between Anscombe and Kye Martin, a promising junior from the promoting club. Martin got it by a tyre.
In the groups behind two other Mid-Devon CC first year juniors stretched their legs, dropping their fellow chasers by half a minute or so before the “sensible pills” took hold. Tom Baylis and Joel Kelly realised that on their own they could not easily close the two and a half-minute gap, and they sat up and re- joined in the mass chase.
By lap three the scratchmen had caught the riders who had started two minutes ahead of them and this larger pack set about bringing the field together. This they did with some six miles remaining, but not before Angus MacAlistair (Norwood Paragon) had taken the final prime.
With four miles left a six-strong group made a valiant strike for home. It was in vain and they were swept up with a mile to go and as the final climb to the line began.
It was all down to the gallop to the line and here Murison was not to be denied holding off Baylis and Kelly. In fourth and fifth places were two of the most seasoned riders to be found in West and South West racing. It was nip and tuck as Andrew Hitchens (Mid-Devon CC) just beat Ben Luckwell (Wilier/Live to Ride).
Earlier in the day a full field of fourth category riders had ridden the same course with junior rider Scott Gurnett (Minehead CC) showing aggression from the off.
He soon dropped the other juniors that had started with him and soloed away taking the first three primes. Behind him the groups merged and slowly but surely caught him.
Gethin Llewelyn (Tenby Aces) took the final prime but not before a moment of inattention resulted in a touch of wheels and a dozen riders being dumped on the road. There was no long term physical damage but there were a few sorry looking bikes.
On the final climb Gurnett once again showed his raw talent to win by several lengths.
The accompanying women’s race had attracted a field drawn from not only the South West but also Wales and further afield, and it was split into two groups of juniors and seniors.
It was not long before the 2 minute gap was bridged. Two of the primes on offer went to local rider, Claire Elworthy (Exeter Wheelers CC) and one was won by Natalie Grinzer (University of Birmingham CC).
With a mile to go there was a sizeable bunch left in contention however the climb to the finish proved the undoing of most. It was down to Ellie Gillham (VC St Raphael/ Waites Contracts) to win by several lengths from Grinzer with Jennifer Hudson, team mate of the winner , a similar distance behind.
1 Alexander Murison (7.00) Equipe CMI 33 miles in 1hr 27m 45s
2 Tom Baylis (3.00) Mid-Devon CC/ Colin Lewis Cycles
3 Joel Kelly (3.00) Mid-Devon CC/ Colin Lewis Cycles
4 Andrew Hitchens (5.00) Mid-Devon CC/ Colin Lewis Cycles
5 Ben Luckwell (7.00) Wilier/ Liveto Ride
6 Marcus Boneham (5.00) Onit Sports
7 Junior Heffernan (7.00) Herbalife/ Leisure Lakes
8 Peter Medhurst (7.00) University of Exeter CC/Double Locks
9 Joe Harris (5.00) CC Tomac/Plateau/las Vegas
10 Ben Hooppell (7.00) Exeter Wheelers CC
1 Scott Gurnett (0.00) Minehead CC 33 miles in 1hr 32m 45s
2 Ben Davis (3.00) Bristol Road Club
3 Alexander Todd (5.00) University of Exeter CC/Double Locks
4 Gethin Llewelyn (3.00) Tenby Aces
5 Chris Knott (3.00) Okehampton CC
6 Jonathan Jones (5.00) University of Exeter CC/Double Locks
7 Philip Collings (2.00) Tavistock Wheelers
8 Paul Leicester (2.00) Exe Velo CC
9 Alistair Moody (3.00) Cycle Sport South Hams
10 Jonathan Crouch (2.00) Taw Velo
1 Ellie Gillham (2.00) VC St Raphael/ Waites Contracts 27 miles in 1hr 25m 17s
2 Natalie Grinzer (2.00) University of Birmingham CC
3 Jennifer Hudson (2.00) VC St Raphael/ Waites Contracts
4 Anna Fischer (2.00) VC St Raphael/ Waites Contracts
5 Claire Elworthy (2.00) Exeter Wheelers CC
6 Bryony Board (0.00) Glendene CC
7 Georgina Snowdon-Brent (2.00) University of Bristol CC/ Mud Dock/Orchards
8 Catriona Ross (2.00) PSUK CRT
9 Stephanie Post (2.00) Cardiff Ajax
10 Jenifer Edwards (2.00) Rhos on Sea CC
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British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.